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August 29, 2014

EnterpriseDB Throws Down PostgreSQL Gauntlet

George Leopold

A new database development environment released earlier this month has been tweaked to leverage the NoSQL capabilities in PostgreSQL, the open source object-relational database tool, to build next-generation web applications.

EnterpriseDB, the Postgres specialist based in Bedford, Mass., said its Postgres Extended Datatype Development Kit would allow application developers to use Postgres for the types of applications that previously required a specialized NoSQL-only tool. To enable this, the kit is said to expand Postgres capabilities for handling document databases with support for data types like JavaScript Object Notation (JSON) and JSONB. The latter was introduced for PostgreSQL earlier this year.

The company claims Postgres outperforms NoSQL-only solutions “on key workloads.” In support of that assertion, EnterpriseDB cited a forecast by industry watcher Gartner warning that half of enterprise data stored in NoSQL database management systems will be at risk “due to lack of applied information governance policies and programs.”

The Postgres toolkit includes a sample application with code examples.

In a statement, Marc Listner, EnterpriseDB’s senior vice president for products and services, touted Postgres with NoSQL support as tailored for enterprise applications because it combines “schema-less data with relational tables bridging structured and unstructured data.”

Boosters argue that building database applications that support unstructured data eliminates some of the challenges they attribute to NoSQL-only solutions. The enterprise relational database can handle conventional SQL data and documents in a database management system that supports most workloads, EnterpriseDB said. The company also touts its toolkit as increasing developer productivity given the ability of Postgres to work with both structured and unstructured data.

NoSQL-only platforms also have been faulted for creating “data silos” where pockets of data become walled off within enterprises. Hence, EnterpriseDB argues that Postgres’ NoSQL capabilities promote data reuse.

Nevertheless, NoSQL database developers like MongoDB insist the market continues to boom. MongoDB released its latest version this spring, and the market leader has plenty of competition in the document-oriented NoSQL market.

In July, EnterpriseDB released two new extensions designed to expand PostgreSQL’s ability to integrate information from big data and NoSQL-only solutions. The first was an updated Foreign Data Wrapper (FDW) for MongoDB. Another for Hadoop is planned for this fall, the company said. The MongoDB FDW was optimized using the new MongoDB meta driver.

The EnterpriseDB development environment was made available as free instances on Amazon Web Services via Amazon Machine Images on August 19.

It added that the new toolkit would be unveiled during a Sept 10 webinar. Among other things, the session will cover how to use JSON and HSTORE data types in parallel with standard SQL to create data-driven Web 2.0 applications. The webinar also will cover applications based on Postgres that integrate NoSQL with JSON and Python, the company said.

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